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Pence in Japan to boost pressure on North Korea
08 February 2018, 12:18 | Floyd Cook
Pence in Japan to boost pressure on North Korea
While South Korea has eagerly engaged in talks with Kim's regime, the White House has remained skeptical.
Ri Sol-ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was later discovered to be one of cheerleaders for the 2005 event.
It features dozens of cabins of different classes, including special rooms where Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather stayed, as well as a restaurant, a bar equipped with a karaoke machine, and a shop where guests can buy souvenirs and snacks, such as ice cream, video footage and images from the 2002 show. It is not clear whether he is slated to attend the game's closing ceremony as well.
He also attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
Trump has belittled the North Korean leader as "little rocket man" and on Twitter boasted that his "nuclear button" is larger than Kim's.
"North Korea would always provoke South Korea and would say things like, 'If you don't do A then effect B will happen, '" Shim said.
What is the significance of his visit?
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said there were no plans for U.S. officials to meet with North Koreans during or after the Olympics and added: "We are in close contact with the Republic of Korea about our unified response to North Korea".
Vice President Mike Pence is now en route to Asia, where he will lead the United States delegation to the opening ceremony later this week and attend some events.
The trip comes after President Donald Trump hosted a group of North Korean defectors in the Oval Office on Friday, including Ji Seong-ho, whom the president referenced in his State of the Union address last week. The plan centers around rallying the global community to further isolate North Korea both diplomatically and economically.
North Korea on Monday proposed sending an art troupe to the Games by ferry, a move that would require an exemption from bilateral sanctions.
Observers believe his visit to the South indicates the North is aiming to prove the legitimacy of its government to the world at the Olympic arena.
All North Korean ships have been banned from entering South Korean ports since 2010.
Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said the ministry was consulting with Washington and others on the possibility of temporarily lifting the ban to facilitate North Korea's proposal and "support a successful hosting of the Olympics".
The OAR women's ice hockey team will play in Group A at the February 9-25 Games alongside Canada, Finland and the United States.
Sunday's outing was the first and only practice match for the newly minted Korean squad.
Ivanka is also expected to attend some of the sporting events that U.S. athletes are competing in.
Some observers in South Korea have suggested the North has embedded security agents in its IOC-accredited delegation by giving them positions as officials or journalists.
The Koreas' reconciliation mood follows a year of heightened tensions over North Korea's advancing nuclear and missile programmes.
North Korea boycotted the Winter Olympic games in 1984 in Los Angeles, then in 1988 in Seoul, as an act against good relations between it and its southern neighbour.
"But my message, whatever the setting, whoever is present, will be the same", Pence said.
Pence departed Monday for Japan and South Korea, aiming to ensure North Korea doesn't "hijack" the games as it participates on a joint team with the South, in the view of the White House.
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